For Muslims, life did not begin at birth, but a long time before that. Before even the creation of the first man. It began when God created the souls of everyone who would ever exist and asked them, "Am I not your Lord?" They all replied, "Yea."
God decreed for each soul a time on earth so that He might try them. Then, after the completion of their appointed terms, He would judge them and send them to their eternal destinations: either one of endless bliss, or one of everlasting grief.
This life, then, is a journey that presents to its wayfarers many paths. Only one of these paths is clear and straight. This path is the Sharia.*
When I read this quote, something inside of me says, “Yes.” Now, I am not saying I’m on a path to conversion, but I am beginning to see what millions of Muslims see - the tranquility of knowing exactly what God wants.
When I was fasting, it was really simple. I woke up. I ate. I drank water. I observed my own religious rituals. I read about Islam. I went back to sleep. I woke up again, washed my hands and went to work.
When I returned home, my actions were similar. It was all so easy. Everything was laid out in front of me.
I think that’s what Sharia is: if you want to be in the presence of Allah, follow the carefully laid path. Don’t steal or cheat or lie or treat others poorly. Invite your neighbors to your house. Pray with your children. If you deviate from the path, you know exactly what to expect because it’s all stated in Sharia. There are no surprises.
Of course, in the west, we aren’t all about our religious lives intermingling with our secular. I’m not entirely sure why that is, I just know it is. Maybe that’s why when we hear the word, “Sharia,” we all freak out. It’s inconceivable to us.
I am not sure if this is one of those cultural relativistic moments, but something inside of me says, “olsun.” (lit. let it be). So maybe it is.
*BBC - Religions: Islam [link]